Saturday, February 18, 2006

You Be The Judge

Am I qualified to write and maintain a blog about being fashionable in New York City? Well, I've never worked in the fashion industry, publishing or retail. But if you're willing to read and check in on my musings, I can promise you that I will do my best to share how I try to keep up with the trends of the city as a salaried employee. In this inaugural post, I share with you my day of shopping.

A hearty breakfast at 9th Street Market (between 1st and 2nd Avenues) was the perfect start. For only $10 you get coffee or tea, your choice of 3 juices and a meal selection that ranges from french toast with a mound (read: mound) of fresh fruit to the "Belt Buster" bagel egg, cheese and bacon/sausage sammich.

The first stop for Shopfest 2006, as JK and I were calling it, was the Billion Dollar Babes sale on 18th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. For $182 I found 5 tops - 3 Petro Zillias, 1 Mon Petit Oiseau and 1 Ben Sherman. This sale has done me right in the past with tops, but I was alarmed to learn this time around that you must pay $10 for access to the dressing room (a new "feature" since the last time I attended BDB about 2 years ago). Also, the security was tight which after having to r.s.v.p. for the sale itself gets to be a little much. Summary: this sale has some good finds, but stay away if you prefer to be trusted as a paying shopper.

The next stop was another invite-only sale, but a much friendlier kind. My colleague has a friend (Shana) who trawls the Salvation Armys of our fine country and re-sells her finds at a deal. She has a great eye and an amazing knack for understanding body types and literally dressing you in her pieces as you shop the racks. I left with 2 blazers - one beige suede collarless and buttonless number (which she had paired with a red leather belt with gold buckle hardware) and one bright red cotton number with a matching silk scarf. Total cost: $55. Shana will be opening a store soon in Bklyn - stay tuned as I will definitely provide the name (CollectHer?) and address as soon as I have it. Summary: This is one to watch.

The final stop was the famed Barney's Warehouse Sale. Is this a good one? Yes. Do you have to be willing to get down and dirty? Absolutely. For those of you who know the drill, skip to the end of this post, but for those yet to venture into the mania, here goes. There are no dressing areas so women drop trou in the back corner by the coats. I am a size 10 shoe and they rarely have anything but Barney's label shoes in my size. I did purchase a Barney's label kitten-heel black leather pair a couple of years ago and I've only had to redo the sole once so they are pretty good quality. At that point in the day, I was too spent - literally and figuratively - to do any more damage, but there were a lot of great pants and jeans for $19 and $29 and of course the Marc Jacobs overstock. Also, the sale was offering 25% off of all Barney's and Co-op label items (shoot JK, we should have thought of that in our assessment of the black cashmere sweater!) and it runs through March 5th, so if you're paid bi-monthly, you can wait until next pay day and give it another try later this month!

The final stop was meant to be Find Outlet, but we were just too hungry (HR had joined us at that point and did really well at Barney's with the $19 short-sleeved blouses - bravo, BWS newcomer!) so it was off to City Bakery for pretzel croissants and hot chocolate.

All in all, a very successful day in the racks.

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